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Face to face

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We may be experiencing fatigue after more than a year of Zoom sessions but we still need to brush up those online skills

We need to talk about…The purpose of drug treatment

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ADDER is yet another treatment service acronym. Whatever it stands for it will probably end up in the government policy wastebasket. Says Nick Goldstein.

Hard Miles

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Organisations and peers have risen admirably to the challenge of continuing the hep C elimination fight during the COVID crisis, heard delegates at LJWG’s...

Essential purchases

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Buying alcohol for people with severe dependence during lockdown in Bristol has been a lifesaver, says Rachel Ayres. On 26 March 2020 our city streets...

Loaded Language

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Stigmatising language doesn’t have to be obvious to do harm, says Phoenix Future's Liam Ward.

Gently does it

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Simply cutting off the supply of benzodiazepines to people who’ve been prescribed them for years is far from appropriate.

In it together

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Behavioural couples therapy for alcohol dependence can both strengthen relationships and reduce problematic drinking

The elephant in the room

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The links between childhood trauma and problematic adult substance use – though huge – are still not being properly addressed. If we’re finally going...

A Vital Role

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The latest strain of COVID-19 has raised pressures facing substance misuse services to an all-time high. Martin Blakebrough, CEO at Kaleidoscope, examines the critical...

Chelita De La Haye – i am a…

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Chelita De La Haye tells us about her role as a nurse prescriber at Delphi Medical Consultants Ltd, a community drug service in Blackpool, Lancashire.

Why Doesn’t She Just Leave?

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Women stay in violent and abusive relationships for all kinds of reasons, says Janie Pamment – and childhood trauma is a significant one.

Bottling it all up

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Mark Reid reviews Douglas Stuart’s Shuggie Bain, the story of a boy and his alcoholic mother.

Face facts

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Is online coaching really as good as face-to-face service? Let’s find out, says Angela Calcan.

All or Nothing

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Your cholesterol is high. The doctor says, ‘No butter, no cheese, no cholesterol-raising foods – full stop.’ You complain, ‘Can’t I just cut down...

Dark Secrets

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As an ‘old timer’ in the field, I remember the seismic shift that followed the emergence of ‘legal highs’. Policy, however, stayed frozen in...

Home and Dry

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Much has been written in the press about how COVID and the lockdown have seen this year’s Dry January ‘cancelled’ for many people. But...

The Feeling’s Mutual

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The impact of COVID-19 has shown that mutual aid groups like AA may be even more beneficial than we realised.

Stewart Bell – I Am A…

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Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, new admissions into rehab have had to isolate. Stewart Bell tells us about his role as an...

Review of the year 2020

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Going viral 2020 will forever be remembered as the year COVID-19 transformed our lives. But one note of optimism was the way services immediately rose...

Support for veterans

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The home front Despite high levels of problematic substance use among ex-services personnel, the ingrained forces mentality can mean a reluctance to seek help –...

A fragile picture

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Commissioning is struggling under relentless rounds of cuts. DDN hears about the need to collaborate to keep clients moving forward. ‘There are many of us...

Wise up

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With awareness of the damaging effects of alcohol still nowhere near where it should be, DDN looks at some recent attempts to educate the...

Brook Drive – meet the team

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As part of our 'I am a…' series two of the team from Brook Drive, the only third sector detox service in London, tell...

Enough Excuses

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Simply blaming an ageing cohort or pre-devolution economic policies for Scotland’s shameful levels of drug-related deaths won’t cut it anymore, say Barry Sheridan and...

On the Margins

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Peter Keeling hears from April Wareham of Working with Everyone about how marginalised communities have been coping during lockdown. Working with Everyone is a group...

The Right Connections

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Starting in May, a group of ten champions of recovery from different corners of the recovery ecosystem began to meet on a weekly basis to share their thoughts and support each other.

Getting Engaged

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With drug-related deaths once again hitting record levels, it’s never been more urgent to make sure we’re properly engaging with so-called ‘chaotic clients’.

Just a child

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The exploitation involved in ‘county lines’ is an urgent call for action, as DDN reports. The brutal killing of a 16-year-old boy shook his community...

Positive signals

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Giving families a clear and consistent route to help makes all the difference, as DDN reports. ‘When you work with families in an uncoordinated way...

We need to talk about medical marijuana

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While it may be nominally legal, medical marijuana needs to be far more easily available and its use encouraged by treatment services.

Supervised humiliation?

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In the real world, methadone provision too often means diversion, using on top – and humiliating supervised consumption.

Leanne Smullen-Bethell – I am a…

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Leanne Smullen-Bethell is head of house at Phoenix’s National Specialist Family Service, where people can seek treatment for their substance use problems while staying...

Opening the Doors

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The efforts to get homeless people into emergency accommodation must not be wasted, as DDN reports. Homelessness has been long been regarded as complex, difficult,...

Blocking the path

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What proportion of England’s problem drinkers are actually in treatment? And are increasing rates of unmet need the result of austerity-driven funding cuts? Mike...

We need to talk about pleasure

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Our refusal to acknowledge that drugs can be a happy experience is hampering our attempts at treatment, says Nick Goldstein.

In tune with nature

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From the heart of the Cornish countryside Bosence Farm Community has been developing ecotherapy, as Tom Packer explains.       

The Mother of Invention

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It’s now almost six months since lockdown revolutionised the way services operate. But could this have actually led to an increase in service user...

Doorstep Challenge

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Strong partnerships could overturn nimbyism and make supervised injecting facilities a reality, DDN reports. Read the full article in DDN Magazine A supervised injecting facility (SIF,...

A Sure Start

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One of the key tasks of the national recovery champion role is to bring people together within the addictions field to tackle a common...

Long Hot Summer

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Summer weather and lack of other entertainment mean that young people are once again turning to outdoor partying on a large scale. Drug services...

The Right Questions

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Now in its 30th year, the Unlinked Anonymous Monitoring Survey is a vital tool for harm reduction, says Emily Phipps. This year the Unlinked Anonymous...

Aiming High

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Even in the most difficult circumstances recovery is always possible, says Jody Leach.

Doubling Down

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With World Hepatitis Day on 28 July, now is the time to redouble our efforts towards hepatitis C elimination, says Rachel Halford. World Hepatitis Day...

The Heat is On – Doctor Wars (part two)

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In the second part of ‘Doctor Wars’, Bill Nelles describes the tumultuous days of the 1980s. Read part one here. By 1983, the cold war among...

Safeguarding Sanctuary

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The lockdown has forced services providing domestic abuse support to become even more resourceful and innovative, says Miranda Hawtrey. Read the full article in DDN...

Bill Nelles – Doctor Wars (part one)

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In the first part of his two part series 'Doctor Wars' Bill Nelles describes how the running battles between substance misuse clinicians in the...

The Benzo Trap

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Improving our understanding of benzodiazepines would save many lives, says Kevin Flemen. Non-medical use of benzodiazepines creates big challenges for treatment services. There need to...

Commissioning Quality

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The new national substance misuse commissioner forum will play a vital role in responding to future challenges, say Chris Lee and Prof Jim McManus. Even...

Gender imbalance

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The lockdown may be having a disproportionate effect on female service users, warns Gordon Hay. The coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown impacts on all...

In the Picture

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The parliamentary group discussion moved to Zoom for its first meeting since the crisis hit services.

Staying Alert

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The sector has risen admirably to the challenges of COVID-19. But it needs to remain vigilant when it comes to what happens next

June Letters and Comment

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Letters and comment from June DDN magazine

Zooming in

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Technology is helping to make sure that recovery workers and clients stay connected.

Grow a little kindness

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SIG Penrose Roots is a garden-based community recovery project that provides a therapeutic growing space for service users, members, volunteers and the wider community.

A new normal

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Within days of lockdown being announced, Lancashire’s recovery communities had transformed their way of life on a grand scale, as Chris Lee explains. We are...

Staying on track

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What does COVID-19 mean for hepatitis C elimination plans in London? Dee Cunniffe gives an update. Two months ago, on 2 March, senior leaders from...

Remembering Simon

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Tributes have been paid to Simon Morgan; Change Grow Live recovery worker, DDN volunteer, and a much-loved member of the Stratford-upon-Avon music scene, who...

Home from home

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Keeping the home ties strong is one important way that Phoenix Futures keeps their residents’ motivation high, says Liam Ward Aligned with government guidance –...

Shared perspectives

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Having had to postpone his trip to the DDN conference, Bill Nelles reflects on the differences in drug policy between the UK and his...

Uncharted territory

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The coronavirus outbreak has transformed almost every aspect of our society at dizzying speed. DDN looks at the impact so far on treatment services...